क्लेशमूलः कर्माशयो दृष्टादृष्टजन्मवेदनीयः॥१२॥
kleshamUlaH=rooted in kleshas; karmaashayo=reservoir of karmas; dRushta=seen, present; adRushta=unseen, future; janma=lives; vedanIyaH=to be experienced
"The resevoir of Karmas which are rooted in Klesas brings all kinds of experiences in the present and future lives."
Kleshas are the underlying cause of the karmas we generate by our thoughts, desires and actions. We reap the results of the past karmas in the present life while generating new karmas which will bear fruit in this or a future life. All the actions and their results , in fact, all samskaras from this and previous lives are recorded in what Patanjali calls "karmashaya" – the reservoir of karmas.
In the Vedanta context, karmashaya is identified with the term "karana sharira" (causal body), a subtle vehicle of consciousness which is the source of all causes which will bear fruit in this or a future life. According to the present sutra, kleshas are the main reason why there is a continuous generation of new karmas which get deposited in the karmashaya.
""Karmasaya Or Latent Impression of Action Based On Afflictions, Becomes Active In This Life Or In A Life To Come."
Merit and demerit in samskaras arises from desire, greed, delusion and anger. They become operative in present or a future life. Of these, the impressions of good deeds gathered from repetition of mantras, for example, and done with a sense of detachment, fructify quickly. Similarly the impressions of bad actions performed through kleshas, anger or violence for example, also bear fruit immediately.
Samskaras may be either ‘sabija’ (with seed) or ‘nirbija’ (without seed). Sabija samskaras based on kleshas are called karmashaya. They are either virtuous or vicious. They bring about three consequences – birth, span or life and experience of pleasure or pain. Deeds performed with kleshas like Avidya produce afflictive latent impressions which bear fruit in this or a future life. Intensity of the impression determines the time of fruition. Vyasa gives the example of young Nandishvara who was transformed from human to a celestial form; and Nahusha, a ruler in heaven, was transformed from a divine form to a reptile on earth. Those in purgatory do not gather any such merit or demerit to be experienced in that life.
"The stock of karams has the kleshas as its root. It is experienced in present or future lilves."
Vyasa, using a variant set of terms for kleshas, states that karmashaya is produced from kama, krodha, lobha and moha (desire, anger, greed and delusion). Desire and greed represent the klesha of attachment and aversion. Anger also stems from desire and delusion from the klesha of ignorance. Karmas, both good and bad, will produce their respective fruits. Examples of good karmas include performing austerities, chanting mantras, cultivating samadhi etc. Examples of bad karma include harmful activities done to others. Intense activities produce immediate results. Examples of Nandishvara and Nahusha, as mentioned above, represent immediate fructification.
All karmas, good or bad, bring fruit in this life or a future life. Karmas and their fruits have their roots in kleshas. Actions resulting from anger normally produce bad karma. In some instances, however, even anger can produce good karma. Example of Dhruva is cited as an illustration. Dhruva, who was only five, was denied the lap of his father by his stepmother. Out of anger, he performed intense austerities with his mind fixed on Vishnu. Vishnu, finally happy with the boy’s sadhana, gave him both material and spiritual boons.
It is worth noting that laws of karma apply only when the actions are performed out of ego, which is confounding the true purusha (self) with the mind and body. Bryant also gives a brief summary of Aranya’s analysis as given above.
The concepts of karma and reincarnation are two of the fundamental tenets in the Hindu philosophy. Patanjali has only made reference to those aspects which are relevant to his discussion. It is a common belief that in addition to the next life after death, there is an intermediate stage where the subtle body is lodged before it finds a new body to inhabit. In ‘loose’ terms this intermediate stage is either ‘svarga’ (heaven) or ‘naraka’ (hell). The overall karma of the individual determines whether one goes to heaven or to hell. Having spent the prescribed time in heaven or hell one must return back to the form of a living being to exhaust further karmas. Aranya, in his commentary, has referred to it as ‘purgatory’.
In the Hindu scriptures, three types of karma are mentioned:
- Sanchita Karma: This is the complete storehouse of all karma accumulated from all the previous lives.. It is like the total balance in our bank account.
- Praarabdha Karma: This is a subset of the Sanchita Karma that is doled out to us to exhaust in the current life. It is like the amount of funds given to you for this life from your total bank balance.
- Aagaami Karma: The karma that we earn during this lifetime which gets added to the Sanchita Karma.
In the present sutra, the emphasis is predominantly on the Agami Karma. Here, kleshas are mentioned as the root cause of the karmashaya (the bank balance) being filled with fresh karma. In sutra 2.4 we learned that Avidya (ignorance) is the mother of all kleshas that are listed after it – asmita (ego), raga (attachment), dvesha (animosity) and abhinivesha (fear of death). Thus it follows that samskaras that are a result of avidya, ego etc get accumulated in the karmashaya. Moreover, any samskaras that are created as a result of ‘prjna’ (discriminatory wisdom) do not add to the karmashaya (sutra 1.50).